Handheld Games News
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Strong new releases lift software sales, but hardware sales continue to sink
The NPD Group's video game industry retail sales report card for the month of October has come in, and it highlights how software sales continue to climb on account of some very big new releases including Pokemon X and Y, Assassin's Creed IV, Batman: Arkham Origins and Battlefield 4.
First of all, what a great month it was for new releases; nearly all of the software top ten titles were released that same month. They still don't get much bigger than Grand Theft Auto V, which retains the crown of monthly bestseller with over 1 million copies sold last month, but Pokemon would have what it takes to dethrone GTA had the unit sales for X and Y been combined into one entry: 1.7 million sold in North America alone.
Less impressive were console hardware sales, which remain in decline. This is not necessarily a surprise this time around as anticipation for the new PS4 and Xbox One platforms launching this month was still building as of last month. Nintendo's 3DS remained the top-selling gaming device during October with over 452,000 handhelds sold thanks in no small party to the new Pokemon titles, while Microsoft's Xbox 360 was still the top-selling console.
October 2013 US Games Industry Summary
Total Industry Sales - $755.7 million USD (+5%)
Console Hardware Sales - $187.4 million USD (-8%)
Total Software Sales - $432.6 million USD (+12%)
Accessory Sales - $135.6 million USD (+1%)
|1.||Grand Theft Auto V||Take 2 Interactive||PS3 / Xbox 360||09/2013|
|4.||Battlefield 4||Electronic Arts||PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||10/2013|
|5.||Batman: Arkham Origins||Warner Bros. Interactive||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii U / PC||10/2013|
|6.||Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag||Ubisoft||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii U||10/2013|
|7.||NBA 2K14||Take 2 Interactive||PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||10/2013|
|8.||Skylanders SWAP Force||Activision Blizzard||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii U / Wii / 3DS||10/2013|
|9.||LEGO Marvel Super Heroes||Warner Bros. Interactive||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii U / 3DS / Vita / PC||10/2013|
|10.||WWE 2K14||Take 2 Interactive||PS3 / Xbox 360||10/2013|
What happens when 3DS users start getting freaky/nasty with each other using Swapnote? No more note swapping via SpotPass, as yesterday Nintendo has pulled the plug on the functionality for the built-in messaging application until further notice.
At issue was the fact that certain 3DS users ("including minors") apparently had this habit of sending offensive material to one another by way Swapnote, after going through the usual exchanging of Friend Codes. Nintendo's solution to curb Swapnote misuse in this manner was to disable the ability for users to share notes via 3DS Spotpass (always-on network connectivity through WiFi hotspots) altogether.
Considering Spotpass was one of the main ways to actually send and receive Swapnote messages, Nintendo basically culled a major feature from the application. You'll still be able to exchange notes with your registered friends via StreetPass, but that's assuming you ever bump into each other on the mean streets of wherever you are. Stay safe, Swapnote travellers.
Service stop date: Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, 7 p.m. PT
Service being stopped: Nintendo 3DS software Swapnote – Sending and receiving notes using SpotPass
Affected regions: All regions where the service was offered
Pikmin 3 and Wind Waker HD did not turn the tide for console
Nintendo confirms that they secured profitability during the first half of their current financial year and as you may guessed, it's largely on account of the 3DS and handheld sales in general. The console giant posted profits of 600 million yen ($6.1 million USD) for the six month period ended September 30th, 2013. That's a big improvement from the 28 billion yen ($285.2 million) loss that Nintendo had to swallow during the same period just a year earlier.
Revenue dipped slightly by 2.2 percent to 196.5 billion yen ($2 billion) year-over-year, but the low point of Nintendo's financial report proved to be Wii U hardware and software sales which remained a "negative impact" on profit.
Around 460,000 Wii U consoles sold worldwide during the entire first half of fiscal year 2014. Some consolation can be found in the fact that hardware sales jumped from 160,000 to 300,000 during the second quarter of that timeframe, likely on account of titles like Pikmin 3 and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD. Unfortunately, not even these higher profile releases could greatly swing the Wii U's fortunes at retail thus far. Hope for the Wii U remains in Super Mario 3D World, due later this November in time for the holiday season.
On the flip side, 3DS hardware sales hit 3.89 million units during the first half. This adds up to 34.98 million 3DS's sold since the handheld first launched in its original flavor. Nintendo is betting on 3DS sales rising further still for the rest of the year thanks in no small part to (you guessed it) Pokemon X and Y, which launched after the reporting period.
Pokeman fans on Neo kept themselves (and our servers) real busy this weekend
If this past weekend's sales figures for Pokemon X/Y were any indication, the Pokemon franchise itself just underwent a Mega Evolution... and if this weekend's traffic was any indication so did the number of Pokemaniacs on Neoseeker! The number of concurrent users online at Neo exploded by 50 percent starting Saturday, which means you guys had one productive Pokemon weekend.
But what exactly are fans talking about on Neo? Perhaps we can assist you with this handy collection of community threads that are both trendy and trending! Check out our top threads, and keep on wanting to be the very best like no one ever was.
Hints and Help
- Mega Stone Locations Guide
- XY Tips and Tricks
- Farming Stones from Super Secret Training
- Move Relearners & Heart Scales
- Catching Eevee in X & Y!
- The Official XY Friend Code Database
- Your Current XY Team
- Official Neoseeker XY Shinies Thread
- The Evil Zoroark Game (Community game)
- I Choose You! Skrelp vs. Clauncher
More Community Links
Also you've been hit by the dastardly "frozen save" glitch as a result of saving outside of a building in Lumiose City, we've posted a possible fix for that in the Pokemon X/Y hints and cheats pages. Let us know if it helps!
This update finally has pirates. And killer whales with moustaches.
You won't have a chance to appeal Capcom's decision to keep Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies a 3DS eShop exclusive outside of Japan, but don't let that hold you back from at least giving the game a (free) trial.
The demo for Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies is now available for download on the eShop, at last giving fans a chance to see the franchise come to life for the first time on a new platform.
Meanwhile, Capcom confirms that the first DLC for Dual Destinies will indeed be the costume pack, featuring alternate outfits for Phoenix Wright, Apollo Justice and Athena Cykes. The costumes will be available for download right at the game's release on October 24th, and will be free until November 7th. You'll have to pony up $0.99 for the Costume Pack later if you miss out on this two-week promotional period.
Capcom also has plans to release the additional "Turnabout Reclaimed" DLC episode "shortly after release of the main game." This bonus episode introduces Orla Shipley the whale and her pirate trainer, Sasha Buckler; whales, in a Phoenix Wright case? Like you're surprised.
The publisher promises more details regarding the DLC episode's release and pricing (unfortunately it will not be free) soon.
Click here to see more images
Discount applies to both Wii U and 3DS digital versions of the game
Starting today until September 22nd, both the Wii U and 3DS versions of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate will be available for fifty percent off the regular price on the Nintendo eShop. All you have to do is... nothing. If you don't already have any of the versions of the game and were thinking about picking up, now is as good a time as any.
What's more, the reduced pricing is applicable across both the North American and European eShops, but only until this Sunday. Not exactly sure what the occassion is, but perhaps its another attempt to gauge interest in the series outside of Japan. Monster Hunter 4 did conveniently just launch to a warm welcome in Japan after all!
Makers of Sonic now holds IP for Shin Megami Tensei, Persona, etc.
Sega was confirmed today to be the winning bidder for Index Corporation's operations, which have been on the auctioning block after the company was forced to undergo bankruptcy proceedings back in June following a fraud investigation that uncovered their massive debt. The deal is expected to be valued at some 14 billion yen ($141.6 million USD).
The publisher has established a new subsidiary, tentatively titled Sega Dream Corporation, to better manage Index's operations which as you may know include Atlus. Indeed, as a result of the acquisition Sega now has access to Atlus' IP including the storied Shin Megami Tensei and Persona franchises. This puts Sega in a position where they can leverage these franchises. For their part, Sega is naturally counting on the expanded portfolio of IPs to better expand their revenue.
Sega's acquisition of Index is expected to be complete by November 1st, 2013.
Still no physical retail release planned for North American market
The wait for latest localized Phoenix Wright adventure is nearly over, as publisher Capcom confirms today that Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies will at last be ready for download from the Nintendo 3DS eShop this October 24th. Fans in North America will be able to grab the title for $29.99 USD, while the title will set you back €24.99 on the European eShop.
Unfortunately, the publisher has not reconsidered its decision to not release Dual Destinies in physical retail format outside of Japan. On the bright side, get a load of these news screens featuring Athena Cykes and Pearl Fey.
Click here to see more images
Software sales see year-on-year growth for the first time since November 2011
Summer is winding down, and according to the NPD Group the U.S. video games industry managed to secure a small victory in the form a whole one percent in growth for physical retail sales. To be sure, this was paired with a 21 percent growth in total software sales, the first which NPD has been able to report for the U.S. market since November 2011!
No doubt August 2013 was sitting on some great new titles, and EA takes the crown again for best-selling game of the month with Madden NFL 25. Saints Row IV, Splinter Cell: Blacklist and Minecraft 360 Edition also managed to land in the top 5. PayDay 2 and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn meanwhile were pleasant surprises to see on the overall top 10.
What may surprise you was the success of Disney Infinity, which managed to be the third top-selling title last month. Analysts however already believed Disney Interactive had a winner on its hands, as firms like Piper Jaffray & Co. reporting that Disney Infinity's launch easily matched that of Activision's Skylanders Giants with sales of some 400,000 units in August.
Nintendo's Pikmin 3 and Mario & Luigi: Dream Team couldn't quite crack NPD's software top five with sales of some 115,000 and 191,000 units respectively, but the console giant maintained its claim to the top-selling hardware for the fourth month in a row with the 3DS. Nintendo boasts that nine 3DS titles have managed to reach at least 250,000 units in sales (physical and digital combined), with standout entries being Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (863,000 units LTD) and Animal Crossing: New Leaf (739,000 units LTD).
Microsoft's Xbox 360 couldn't quite beat the 3DS with sales of 96,000 units (far lower than the 193,000 Xbox 360s sold during August 2012), but the software and console giant reiterates that they still scored the highest platform revenue with $213 million in total sales in the U.S.
August 2013 US Games Industry Summary
Total Industry Sales - $521 million USD (1%)
Console Hardware Sales - $90.8 million USD (-40%)
Console Software Sales - $293.4 million USD (23%)
Total Software Sales - $305 million USD (21%)
Accessory Sales - $136.7 million USD (7%)
|1.||Madden NFL 25||Electronic Arts||PS3 / Xbox 360||08/2013|
|2.||Saints Row IV||Deep Silver||PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||08/2013|
|3.||Disney Infinity||Deep Interactive||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii U / 3DS||08/2013|
|4.||Splinter Cell: Blacklist||Ubisoft||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii U / PC||08/2013|
|5.||Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition||Microsoft Game Studios||Xbox 360||05/2012|
|6.||Mario & Luigi: Dream Team||Nintendo||3DS||08/2012|
|7.||NCAA Football 14||Electronic Arts||PS3 / Xbox 360||07/2013|
|8.||PayDay 2||505 Games||PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||08/2013|
|9.||Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn||Square nix||PS3 / PC||08/2013|
|10.||Pikmin 3||Nintendo||Wii U||08/2013|
Fewer retail game releases in July leave their mark on industry sales
NCAA Football 14 secured the crown for top-selling video game in the U.S. last month according to the NPD Group, not a bad way to smooth out the fact that the NCAA itself will no longer license its trademarks to EA Sports.
EA's latest NCAA Football entry would also be the only new title released last month to actually make it onto NPD's software top ten for July, with the rest of the upper half dominated by June's big winners: Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition, The Last of Us, Black Ops II, and Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
Nintendo's 3DS once again made a fine accounting of itself on both hardware and software fronts. According to Nintendo, 3DS hardware sales rose 14 percent year-over-year last month allowing the platform to once again become the top-selling system in the U.S. 3DS software sales also rose an impressive 45 percent over last year, though only New Leaf managed to land in NPD's software top ten.
To be sure, New Leaf was no slouch with sales of 150,000 units last month alone (physical and digital units combined); lifetime sales in the U.S. have now hit over 660,000 units. Meanwhile, lifetime sales for Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon reached over 820,000 units as of last month, just under New Super Mario Bros. U's 830,000 copies to date.
Microsoft didn't enjoy as much luck with the Xbox 360 last month, with hardware unit sales plummeting year-over-year from 203,000 to 107,000 units. That said, the Xbox 360 platform stil enjoyed the highest total retail spend at $178 million for hardware, software and accessories combined.
July 2013 US Games Industry Summary
Total Industry Sales - $443 million USD (-19%)
Console Hardware Sales - $99.4 million USD (-34%)
Console Software Sales - $210.1 million USD (-19%)
Total Software Sales - $222.3 million USD (-20%)
Accessory Sales - $133.4 million USD (-3%)
|1.||NCAA Football 14||Electronic Arts||PS3 / Xbox 360||07/2013|
|2.||Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition||Microsoft Game Studios||Xbox 360||05/2012|
|3.||The Last of Us||Sony Computer Entertainment America||PS3||06/2013|
|4.||Call of Duty: Black Ops II||Activision||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii U / PC||11/2012|
|5.||Animal Crossing: New Leaf||Nintendo||3DS||06/2013|
|6.||Far Cry 3||Ubisoft||PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||05/2013|
|7.||Battlefield 3||Electronic Arts||PS3 / Xbox 360 / PC||10/2011|
|8.||Injustice: Gods Among Us||Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii U||04/2013|
|9.||NBA 2K13||Take-Two Interactive||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii U / Wii / PSP / PC||10/2012|
|10.||LEGO Batman 2||Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment||PS3 / Xbox 360 / Wii U / Wii / PSV / 3DS / DS / PC||06/2012|
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- Xbox One Countdown Liveblog 
- Terrifying disc drive sounds from Xbox One and PS4, let's compare 
- Neoseeker's PlayStation 4 Introductory Livestream (recording available) 
- Sony Entertainment Network on PlayStation 4 facing serious issues, login errors